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Thread: Mid-air nr Audlem, Cheshire

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    Default Mid-air nr Audlem, Cheshire

    Hello all,
    A local resident recalls seeing a mid-air collision over Lightwood Green, a village 2 miles West of Audlem, Cheshire during the war. She cannot recall the date or year, but thinks there may have been one or two killed. I have trawled so many times through the A-B volumes, but cannot find anything that fits the bill. Any ideas anyone ?
    Ian

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    Hello Ian

    The two aircraft involved were Gladiators, K7927 and K8045 of 61 OTU, on 24 November 1943. I have no note of any casualties.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hi Dave, those two actually collided over Arddleen in Powys, not Audlem (although I have seen Audlem written before). I just wonder if this could be the incident we were discussing recently though?

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?11534-61-otu

    I had suggested the location was Lightwood, to the east of Tern Hill, but Audlem is not very far away either? Ian, could you add any more detail to the eye witnesses recollections? Did she see two aircraft going down, or just one?

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Actually, another accident from my notes (I research Shropshire accidents but have noted several near/just over the border with Cheshire):

    18th July 1940:
    Harvard N7158 and N7159, from 10 FTS, Tern Hill, collided over Dodcott, near Wilkesley (just south of Lightwood Green).
    Crew of N7158 was:
    - F/O (Instructor pilot) Eustace Errol Sweet (44268), RAF. Buried at Cheswardine (St Swithun) Cemetery, Shropshire he was born in Cornwall in 1908, but was married to a local girl from Cheswardine. He had joined the RAF in the 1930ís and qualified as a flying instructor in December 1935.
    - P/O (Pilot u/t) Philip Anthony Crush (43097), RAF, aged 23. He is buried in Oswestry Cemetery. He was the son of John Arnold and Mary Monica Crush and the husband of Muriel Crush of Oswestry. Prior to transferring into the RAF in April 1940 he had served as a 2nd Lt in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

    N7159 crew was:
    Sgt (Pilot u/t) Jack Allen Beale (804328), RAF (Auxiliary Air Force), aged 22. Buried in Finchley (Holy Trinity) Churchyard he was the son of Edward Henry and Alice Annie Beale of Finchley. Before the war he served as an air gunner with 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron flying in Blenheim bombers.
    Sgt (Pilot u/t?) Renalt Bernard Capes (741013), RAF. After recovering from serious injuries, he was commissioned in November 1941. He survived the war reaching the rank of F/Lt, having transferred to the admin and special duties branch in November 1942.

    It's certainly a possibility. Again, if you have any more information from the eye witness it would help. Does she remember where they came down exactly?

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    I seem to recall they were Hampdens but I can't find any notes to prove it, unfortunately.

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    Tom,

    Yes, that makes sense. I have a Cassini ref for one of the sites which I had down as spurious, VJ7259. However using two of the available conversion programs, one gives a location to the east of Welshpool (Long Mountain) the other gives a location in line with Arddleen, but much too far to the north. Help!

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hi Dave, I have not looked into it in too much detail as it is over the border from Shropshire, but Phill Jones (also on the forum) gave me the map references OS126/240166 and OS126/239167. He visited one of the crash sites many years ago and commented how close the one was to Penrhos School (to the west of Arddleen).

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Thanks for all your replies folks. Yes, i was also initially led down the garden path regarding the 61 OTU Gladiators, but Phill put me right on that one (it's in error in the A-B 'K' file as Audlem). Tom, it's the recent thread regarding the two 61 OTU Spits that got me thinking on this one. Unfortunately, the lady in question is no longer with us, but she remembers cycling past the scene soon after it happened. She recalls seeing a crowd of people in the road, and the wreckage was in a field near to Lightwood Green Farm. She was told that two aircraft had just collided. I suppose as the crow flies, it's only about 6 miles NNE of Ternhill. Thanks for the info regarding the two Harvards.
    Ian
    Last edited by Celt 22; 27th September 2011 at 10:12.

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